Poll Cites Several Causes for Higher Food Prices

Cindy Zimmerman

A new poll indicates that Americans are better informed about the various factors affecting food price increases than one might think.

RFAThe poll, commissioned by the Renewable Fuels Association, found that 46 percent of Americans believe rising oil prices is the number one cause of increasing food costs, followed by 15 percent citing increasing global demand. By contrast, just 7 percent of respondents believe increased ethanol production is the most important cause.

The poll, which was conducted by The Mellman Group, asked respondents to choose which factor had the greatest and the second greatest impact on food prices from a menu of choices. Among those choices were higher oil prices, increased global demand for food, poor weather conditions affecting crop production, food companies raising prices to increase profits, and increased ethanol production.

Only 16 percent of those polled cited ethanol production as either first or second in order of importance when it came to impacting the price of food. In contrast, an Internet poll released today and sponsored by food processing giant Hormel claims that “when prompted,” 60 percent of Americans blame ethanol for the increase in consumer food prices.

Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen said, “Considering that 81 percent of every food dollar spent pays for the processing, packaging, transporting and marketing of food items, it’s painfully clear these energy-intensive activities are the root cause of higher food prices.”

The Mellman poll, conducted October 23-25, surveyed 1000 adults with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

Ethanol, RFA